41 Years Old
Class of 2020
“Success is when you feel you are making a difference, whether it’s a situation, someone’s life or a whole community.”
For the better part of the last ten years, Alexandra Tarasenco has called Fort McMurray her home.
“We went to B.C. for a short time, and inevitably came back,” she joked.
Today, she takes pride in her decision to come back and demonstrates this by welcoming others into the Wood Buffalo region as the Welcome Centre Coordinator with the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo since 2019.
“It is a position I enjoy. I see that I am making a difference in lives by sharing information on resources that are so necessary for them as newcomers to the community,” Alexandra said. “It is not enough to just do your job, by giving some information, it is about being persistent and making sure you indeed made an impact.”
At home, the sense of multiculturalism surrounds her as much as the organization she works as her family speaks both Russian and French languages in their everyday lives. They also enjoy Ukrainian dance and intercultural get-togethers with family and friends.
“I came to identify myself as a Modovan Canadian,” said the mother of four children and wife to a “very patient husband,” she laughed. “My mum, who is 84-years-old, lives with us, and that has been an important part of our culture and the connection between generations.”
In her early career in Fort McMurray, Alexandra spent six years as the Executive Director and Program Manager for Leadership Wood Buffalo.
“Community leadership development has always been something that I am especially passionate about,” she said. “This was an incredible opportunity to meet some exceptional current and aspiring community leaders, but also learn about our community’s resources, partners, and organizations. It was a great way for me to put my passion into practice.”
As a woman who lives to be inspired by other community champions, she shares in the joys of her mentors and friends’ success with great enthusiasm.
Throughout the years, Alexandra has had to say goodbye to some of the ambassadors who have passed on, though she cherishes the lessons learned from them and says it helps her define herself on her terms as she grows as a professional.
Alexandra also reminisces on the words of the late-community ambassador for women’s health, Vilia Tosio, who always said, “One can never be too kind. This world needs a little more kindness.”
She further explained how she believes success is measured by the feeling of making a difference.
“Whether it’s a situation, someone’s life or a whole community; success is when you feel you are in the flow when you go to bed being genuinely grateful for the day,” she explained.
“I am passionate about supporting and recognizing passionate people. I enjoy people who go out of their way for an idea that might not be popular at that time, but extremely important.”